History & Heritage

The History of Bursledon

Bursledon is one of the older settlements in the Borough of Eastleigh. St Leonard's Church being recorded in the 12th century.

Bursledon has its origins in ship-building and repair based on the River Hamble. HMS Elephant, Flagship for Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen was built here. The Hamble river remains of great significance to Bursledon today. There is ongoing marine-related economic activity – recreational sailing, boat repair, chandlery and moorings – as well as being host to national and international designated nature conservation areas.

Bursledon was also at the heart of the strawberry growing market garden industry and with the introduction of the railway became a distribution hub for local growers.

Hampshire's only working Windmill, built in 1814, sits aloft near Windhover Roundabout on the A27. It remains today a popular visitor attraction.

The southern most part of the civil parish includes the oldest part of the settlement, now sitting within the designated Old Bursledon Conservation Area, one of the largest conservation areas in the Eastleigh Borough.

In the 1970’s and 80’s Bursledon saw considerable increase in housing and again in 2018/19. Further development is expected to complete over the following 5 years.

Bursledon Windmill

Bursledon Windmill has been a landmark in the village for more than 200 years. It is the only working windmill in the country with fully wooden machinery.

Built in 1814 by the then miller, Phoebe Langtry, it replaced an earlier post mill. Phoebe was granted a mortgage of £800 (worth considerably more today) which ensured that the windmill could be built, and then used for the good of the community. Bursledon Windmill continued to grind grain until 1885 when the last miller, George Gosling, was finally defeated by a nearby factory and mechanisation. (A housing development close by bears the Gosling name.)

Over the years the windmill fell into disrepair until it was salvaged by Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s it was renovated and restored to full working order.

As well as receiving contributions from visitors, Bursledon Windmill is funded by Bursledon Parsh Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire County Council. It is supported and maintained by Hampshire Cultural Trust.